Aug 6, 2015

Zoe's Birth, Part 1: "Did my water just break?"

I decided to kick things of on ye olde blogge with Zoe's birth story! I typed most of this out months ago, so that's why this first part is pretty vivid while part 2 is more just stating the obvious. Oops, I hope you can forgive me. Birth stories are some of my favorite things to read on the internet so I hope you enjoy mine!

If you've read birth stories before, you know that things can get graphic. That's just the way births go, you know? Hope you don't mind the details!

Without further ado, here goes the birth story of our first born, Zoe.

On November 6th, 2014 (a Thursday), I had my 40 week prenatal appointment. We had been told the week prior that we'd get to see her via ultrasound to check fluid levels, or something like that. This was super exciting because we hadn't seen her since week 18 and even though I was huge, I had a hard time imagining a baby in my belly. The whole week before I just kept thinking we'd get to see her either way -- via ultrasound or if she decided to make her entrance into the world early.

At the appointment, there was no ultrasound. I guess my doctor wasn't worried about fluid levels anymore. There was some chitchat about when we would have to schedule an induction if she didn't come soon, but my doctor was convinced she'd come before the weekend was over. She then went on to stretch my cervix which was just about the most painful thing I had experienced to date. It turns out she was on call that evening, so if that was going to kick start any sort of labor, she'd be the one to deliver my baby. The rest of the day was business as usual and not a single contraction was felt.

The next day, Friday the 7th, was my due date! I knew the likelihood of going into labor on your due date was pretty slim so I didn't expect much. I think I slept in a little and when I finally got out of bed to go to the bathroom, I felt a little bit of a gush of something down there. It wasn't a lot, though, and I had always imagined that when your water broke it would leave a puddle underneath you or something, so I kind of just figured maybe Zoe had kicked my bladder really hard (should I preface these things with "TMI ALERT"?). I texted Landon and he decided to come home just in case.

{The only photo you'll see in this part, taken 5 days before the birth. I didn't want to remember how pregnant past this point, y'all.}

By the time he got home, I was already in major nesting mode. I figured keeping busy would surely help get the contractions going if this was actually the start of my labor. We cleaned and I got ready for the day but I still wasn't feeling any contractions. I kept feeling some small gushes but was convinced that I couldn't go to the hospital until I started feeling contractions. Around lunchtime I decided it would be smart to at least call my doctor's office and tell them there was a chance my water had broken. My doctor was gone for the day so I was advised to head to labor and delivery so they could check. I knew how these things worked: you get sent to labor and delivery in hopes that today was the day only to be sent home because nope, you weren't actually in labor yet. We packed up the car just in case (this is slightly laughable because we live less than 5 minutes away from the hospital...Landon could have easily swung by the house later on in the day), stopped by Freebirds so I could eat something filling just in case this would be my last meal before giving birth, and headed to the hospital.

We got there around 1:30 PM and my immediate thought was "where is everyone?!" The labor and delivery ward was so empty and quiet except for the nurses. I got hooked up so my contractions and baby's heartbeat could be monitored and my cervix was checked again. It was around 3-4 cm dilated at this point, maybe slightly bigger than what it had been at my appointment the day before. The nurse swabbed my cervix to do the test that would confirm if amniotic fluid was leaking out of me and what do you know, it was! We were then told I would be moved to a labor room and Landon could go get our bags from the car.

I still didn't believe the baby would come that day because I still wasn't having noticeable contractions. The machine picked them up but I felt nada. We got settled into the room and I got hooked up to the monitor and an IV (3 or 4 jabs later...). I think that's when I got started on Pitocin but there were papers to be signed and people to call and text that I wasn't paying too much attention to what was being put into my, right?

We watched some HGTV and kept saying we couldn't believe it was finally happening. My parents arrived and came to say hi, but then I was pretty tired and wanted to try and take a nap. As soon as I tried to close my eyes, though, the contractions I had been waiting so long to feel started up.

At first, they weren't too bad. The nurse came back in and asked when I wanted an epidural. I wanted to wait a little longer because I guess I'm some sort of masochist who thought feeling the pain of contractions was an important part of labor. In retrospect, if you had planned on getting an epidural anyways, GET THE DAMN EPIDURAL AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

But then out of nowhere, they got so strong and so close together incredibly fast. I tried to do everything to deal with them; I tried breathing in certain patterns, crying, squeezing Landon's hand, focusing on the TV, offering up my pain, praying the Our Father and Hail Mary over and over...but nothing was helping. I felt like such a wimp, and to think I had initially wanted to give birth naturally. HAH! I think I was just so surprised by how fast and intense they came on. This was by far the most pain I had ever been in.

At that point, I couldn't get an epidural fast enough. The contractions were so close together, though, that I would be receiving it while going through them for sure; there were no breaks anymore. The nice anesthesiologist got there faster than expected and honestly the contractions hurt so bad that I could have cared less about the needle going into my back. It didn't hurt at all in comparison.  I have no idea how long it took for it to kick in, but when it did I was on cloud nine. I felt so relaxed and couldn't feel a darn thing in the lower half of my body. It was time for another cervix check and whoa, look at that, I was already close to 7-8 cm dilated. The nurse said it was clear now why those contractions were killing me so much!

At this time, I ordered some Jell-O and apple juice, met the doctor on call that would be delivering the baby, and met some more of the nurses. Everyone was so kind, helpful, and knowledgeable. While I was still terrified about giving birth, they all did a great job at putting my mind to ease. At 7 PM, there was a shift change and I met the new nurses that would be there for the delivery. More kind and helpful souls. I was relieved.

A little before 8 PM I had what would be my final cervix check...6 and a half hours after we got to the hospital. The doctor on call was called in, my legs were held up for some practice pushes, and we were off!

Stay tuned for Part 2 ;)

Lots of hugs,

1 comment:

  1. Birth story, yay! You were seriously the cutest pregnant lady ever, seriously. Also, I feel you on the epidural. Once I decided I wanted one it was like, please hurry!! :)